21, May 2018

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Setting Captives Free (1)

‘I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up.’ Exodus 3:8 NIV

For four hundred years the Israelites were enslaved by Egyptian taskmasters who oppressed them and ‘made their lives bitter.’ (Exodus 1:14 NIV) Many of us can relate to their feelings of helplessness when we think about areas in our own lives where we struggle with habits. Whether it’s food, alcohol, drugs, sex, money or abusive relationships, we’ve all experienced a sense of powerlessness in our repeated attempts for freedom. Failure can produce chronic hopelessness, to the point where you give up trying. Broken and crushed, Israel cried out to the Lord and He responded, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers and I am concerned about their suffering.’ (Exodus 3:7 NIV) Notice how God extended compassion towards them: ‘So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.’ (Exodus 3:8 NIV) God came down to bring them up—and He can do the same for you today. Israel’s deliverance called for the slaying of a spotless Passover lamb. They applied its blood to their doorposts and the death angel passed them by. The Bible says, ‘Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.’ (1 Corinthians 5:7 NIV) Jesus Christ, our sacrificial lamb, shed His blood to set us free from whatever it is that’s enslaving you. What are you struggling with today? You can be released from captivity—not by your own futile efforts—but by trusting in the God who answers the cries of His people.

SoulFood: Judg 1–3, Mk 10:1–12, Ps 88:1–9a, Prov 13:1–3

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019

21, May 2018

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